Moving to the Cloud and Creating a Digital Vision: Q&A With Tata Consultancy Services

March 3, 2019
Moving to the Cloud and Creating a Digital Vision: Q&A With Tata Consultancy Services

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) offers an integrated portfolio of services in IT, business, technology and engineering. And in partnership with Dell Boomi, TCS helps businesses perform with increased agility and insight — better, faster, smarter.

We recently spoke with Kiran Deshpande, TCS's global head of EAS - Enterprise Integration, about the various challenges and opportunities inherent in moving to the cloud, the importance of integration, and how Boomi and TCS work together to help businesses with their transformation journeys.

Kiran says that TCS is always looking ahead to the next technology that will transform lives, including areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, augmented reality and quantum computing. But before clients can leverage these cutting edge technologies, they must successfully move to the cloud.

How do you approach the cloud migration assessment and recommendation process?

Kiran Deshpande: We offer guidance, helping clients define that digital vision and make sure their cloud migration journey maps to it. We go application by application. Are they aligned with the best practices of digital teams in their industry? Do all the transformation initiatives fit or support the broader vision? And, of course, integration is a crucial part of all those discussions. You should not start a cloud migration without a well thought out integration strategy.

Cloud migration isn't just a “lift and shift” to allow applications to be managed in the cloud. It needs to align with the digital vision for the business, which means it needs to take integration into consideration. Do you move your on-premise integration middleware to the cloud? If so, how? Or should you go with a cloud-native integration product?

But often companies get well into their journey to the cloud and then realize they missed this crucial element. They then need to take a step back.

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What are the challenges you see companies facing around integration?

Kiran Deshpande: When we look at the usual integration challenges we’ve been facing for years, they break down like this:

  1. First is the monolithic integration architecture used to embed a lot of core business logic in the integration. This is the enterprise service bus (ESB) approach, which is not flexible. If I want to automate certain processes via integration, this slows time to market just by the nature of the product.
  2. Then, frequent upgrades. Every time product owners upgrade, integrations break. They’re brittle.
  3. Finally, the “integration of integration” into IT processes. Customers often choose a product and start integrating. Then they realize that it’s not covering all the bases. They add other products. Or more products enter the mix through a merger or acquisition. Soon, there’s an unwieldy integration product stack. How do we consolidate that?

Integration is at the core of any business process — it’s the nervous system of the process. Today, companies want an agile approach — quick integration, ease of use, and the flexibility to accommodate product upgrades. They want to support the citizen integrator, the business user. That’s one of Boomi’s most compelling features.

Do you have a framework in place for handling integration projects?

Kiran Deshpande: We focus on three tenets when we look at larger integration projects. Number one is to know the business use cases. It’s not just application integration anymore. It’s the broader digital ecosystem. Because of APIs, the stakeholders are no longer just the application owners. The stakeholders may be the owners of a digital initiative that embraces mobile or IoT.

Knowing who those stakeholders are and the business use cases is key. This helps us develop and implement an integration strategy that will work for that specific customer's business.

Then, it's important to have the right technology — meaning cloud-based — that supports various kinds of integration and connectivity patterns with SaaS, IoT, cloud, on-premise and API.

Another core element is operations/governance. If we want to integrate across the organization, across business units, we need to have very strong governance.

How do TCS and Boomi work together to help customers with cloud migration?

Kiran Deshpande: There are four categories of programs where we work together to go to market.

First is "Cloudification" — moving the traditional ESB to the cloud to connect applications. That, of course, is a Boomi sweet spot.

Then there is what I call “Appification.” How can we kick start a program to connect partner, consumer, internal applications, or the entities within an organization that are part of a recent acquisition?

Third is modernization. How do I modernize? How do I change my integration landscape entirely?

And fourth is building a complete digital platform for business. Telecom companies are looking to do this to enhance the customer experience. And integration is crucial to those efforts. So is data quality, governance, analytics and so forth, but it’s all driven by integration.

What makes Boomi the right fit for companies engaging in cloud migration or digital transformation initiatives?

Kiran Deshpande: Boomi is well known as a pioneer of cloud-born integration middleware products. And Boomi has very strong capabilities when it comes to hybrid integration. In fact, we’ve used Boomi's integration platform for various use cases, like A2A (application to application) or B2B.

Also, we implement APIs using the Boomi platform. Boomi is highly scalable and supports cloud-to-cloud, cloud-to-on-premise, and on-premise-to-on-premise integration. So, it has that necessary breadth.

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Earlier I mentioned the need for ease of use, to support the citizen integrator. With Boomi, connecting and deploying applications and channels is a rich experience. Not many products can offer that kind of intuitive, drag-and-drop experience.

Boomi's upgrade feature is another benefit. It's hassle-free and ensures you are always running the latest version. And this is one of the aspects of integration that always comes up with customers.

Finally, Boomi’s commitment to its platform-level, service-level agreements (SLAs) is great. It definitely boosts customer confidence.

What have been some of the most notable achievements from the Boomi-TCS partnership?

Kiran Deshpande: Texas Instruments is a great B2B consolidation story. They were using multiple products, which we consolidated on Boomi. And we see a lot of similar use cases in retail, manufacturing and logistics where customers have several B2B products — we can consolidate them all using Boomi B2B/EDI Management.

Another would be Scottish Water, where we implemented an enterprise-wide integration platform as a service (iPaaS) with Boomi. Scottish Water was using six products. But through consolidation, Boomi helped them improve their operational resiliency and availability while reducing operational cost.

TCS and Dell work together to define the architectural blueprint in many of our joint engagements. And there has been great support from the Boomi team on all aspects of product and solution support.

How do you see digital transformation evolving, and how will that impact integration?

Kiran Deshpande: There are two major forces we see impacting the integration landscape. One is cloudification. The other is digitalization. Everything is becoming digital and for a business, as I mentioned before, that means you must have a digital vision. These two forces must be aligned, and they form the context for integration.

The entire digital ecosystem is in a state of change. It’s not just about application integration anymore. Now we have the cloud, IoT and mobile. Channels continue to proliferate. So as we go along, we’re redefining what integration means.

And as our customers move along the path of cloudification and digitalization, they are forced to revisit their integration strategy. And integration becomes the foundation for their digital vision and all future digital initiatives.

This means that integration moves up in the digital value chain. It used to be viewed as technical work. Now, it's the strategic foundation of modern business. The lines between application development and coding have blurred. Now, they go hand in hand. That’s why we created our Business Ecosystem Integration Services (BEIS) offering, and why we're working closely with Boomi to take it to our customers.

Learn more about how Tata Consultancy Services works with Boomi to help the world's leading companies modernize, innovate and transform.​

About the Author

Charles Waltner is the head of content marketing for Dell Boomi.